How to Win in a Challenging Labor Market

Did you and your team enjoy Labor Day? For us, it was the perfect chance to take a well-earned rest after a hectic summer and recharge our batteries. It’s also an ideal time to celebrate what makes a law firm excellent: its people. After all, your law firm’s biggest asset is its people.

The challenge

Have you heard about The Great Resignation? Also known as The Big Quit, more and more professionals continue to leave their jobs, since 2021. This is due to wage stagnation coupled with the rising cost of living, job dissatisfaction, safety concerns over Covid, and a desire to work remotely.

At Yaeger Legal Consulting, we hear about this serious staffing challenge on the ground every day as legal firms describe to us how hard they’re finding it to attract and retain staff.

Today’s labor market is fiercely competitive despite a backdrop of huge salary growth in the legal sector. In fact, the 2021 Law Firm Business Leaders Report from Thomson Reuters states that a whopping 51% of law firms consider acquiring and retaining staff as a high risk to future profitability.

Why is attracting and retaining staff so important?

The ability to attract new and retain existing staff has a huge effect on a law firm. Firstly, there’s a great financial incentive to holding on to staff, because it costs so much to advertise and recruit someone new, not to mention the time that it takes to hire and bring them up to speed with onboarding and training.

Secondly, a high turnover of staff or having a staff base that’s largely new and inexperienced has an impact on company morale. It also places a higher demand and workload on the more senior attorneys, leading to burnout.

Finally, having gaps in staff or a high turnover affects efficiency and client satisfaction because there is less consistency.

The solution

Successful law firms realize that although salary represents an important factor, it’s not everything. Let’s look at the top ways you can come out on top when it comes to attracting and retaining staff for your law firm.

  • Work-life balance

Candidates value flexibility in an employer these days. Since the pandemic, we see less of the old-fashioned rigid 9-5 workdays because people know that once you have the right technology (laptop, cell phone, and dependable internet) you can work from home. Remote working appeals to anyone with family commitments and offers a saving of time and gas on lengthy commutes, as well as health and wellness benefits.

  • Upskilling

Law firms that demonstrate that they offer growth and development opportunities will enjoy a lower turnover. Employees look for coaching/ mentoring programs, upskilling, and training, so consider development programs that allow employees to see a clear career path ahead of them.

It’s also a great idea to offer employees the best technology to do their jobs, allowing them to work smarter not harder. This is beneficial in the investigation and litigation phases of a case, helping staff to maximize their time.

  • Motivation

A thriving law firm has clearly identified goals, they know where they’re going, and what they stand for. Employees are far more engaged when they are part of decision-making, they feel valued and heard and feel that they’re part of a firm that does work that they believe in. Effective communication with staff is key here.

In short, employees want to do a job that means something to them. Connect people with clients who share personal values, and with pro bono work and activities.

Succeeding together

Remember to consider what motivates a person either looking for new work or already part of your team. Is it financial, cultural, job satisfaction, or career progression?

With these measures in place, our wish for your law firm is that the top legal talent will join you on your journey, and happily stay with you for years to come.

For expert guidance in this matter, or anything else that affects the success of your law firm, reach out.

At Yaeger Legal Consulting we’re proud to help law firms to succeed, through personal support, evaluating your unique situation, developing custom strategies to cultivate efficiency and growth, and streamlining your practice.

Let’s schedule a consultation.